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12 March 2020

SuperNormal: Τetramythos Agiorgitiko Nature 2018

At a time when many wines have hit stratospheric heights with their prices, I will be looking for top examples that combine two ultimate virtues; awesome quality, for under 15 euros retail price. Welcome to my world of supernormal wines. 

The variety

Agiorgitiko is a beautiful and charming variety with unique immediacy and balance. It provides a definition of what measure is all about, as its ingredients (fruit, acidity, tannins, alcohol) are in full harmony; also a variety that does not pretend it produces the most layered wines of the planet, but rather offers lovely primary fruit and joy. If Agiorgitiko were a movie, it would have certainly been directed by Steven Spielberg, the creator of modern blockbusters. 

Its classical expression is found in Nemea, though it has spread to the rest of the country giving fascinating interpretations in Drama, Kavala and mountainous Aigialeia in the Peloponnese. When Agiorgitiko producers are successful in controlling extraction and oak ageing, the result is unmatched, as it combines the deep fruity taste with a gentle, soft touch on the palate and solid ability to age up to ten years from the vintage.

The winery

One of the most upcoming names of the Greek vineyard, Tetramythos Winery has accomplished something unique. It makes stunning, terroir-driven, low intervention wines at amazing prices, that make you want to pinch yourself to see if you’re awake. While other wineries are breaking the bank, the joint effort of the Spanos brothers (Aristos Spanos pictured below) and one of the top winemakers in the country, Panagiotis Papagiannopoulos (pictured above), remains accessible and raises its quality year after year. 

The Terroir

Aigialeia in the Peloponnese is one of the fastest emerging terroirs of Greece. Reaching an altitude of 1000metres, it is confirmation of what viticulture on mountain slopes can achieve in otherwise warm-hot climates. The Agiorgitiko of Tetramythos grows at above 700 metres, in a single vineyard named Pano Pithos. The soil is mainly hard rock with a northern exposure that gives it a cool character. Vinification follows the protocol of natural winemaking with a small dose of SO2 added at bottling. The wine sees no oak and matures on the lees for 6 months. 

The wine

Intense nose with violet, cherry and ripe strawberry combines both fresh and ripe elements with precision and fruit purity. Velvety and relatively soft on the palate, with intensity and elegance. Panagiotis Papagiannopoulos explains that his aim is to achieve fruit expression and the production of a cool and elegant Agiorgitiko with nerve and acidity. Tetramythos Agiorgitiko Nature is the unpretentious illustration of the variety, the apotheosis of simplicity. All of this at 10.50 euros.

How to enjoy it

Temperature, serve cool, and in the summer chill it fearlessly because its tannins are soft and smooth.

Wine Glasses, I would like it in Pinot Noir glasses, but I am sure it will work well in a classic Bordeaux glass.

Food pairing, charming in its directness, will match many dishes. Since we’re in the heart of winter, my perfect combination is veal with orzo pasta cooked in the oven, in a tomato-based sauce. But, if you are more adventurous try it with grilled sea bream.

Find it at Greece and Grapes 

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